by Deborah Rogers –

“Would you wear a hat?” Kim asked when I was being styled for our new pictures. I hesitated for a moment; “yes, yes, I am the sort of person who would wear a hat!” I replied, and inside I thought: “I used to wear hats; what happened to me?”.

I loved to visit vintage stores and markets when I was a teenager, seeking out unusual, inexpensive clothes that tapped into my eclectic tastes. I would make my own embellishments too, with rudimentary sewing skills and lots of imagination. I probably looked quite wacky at times, but I was always more comfortable in my own threads than in my stuffy school uniform, or the awful bri-nylon of my first few retail jobs.

Then I started working in an office and needed to look a bit smarter, plus I had the money to buy new fashions. It was a first step towards a more conservative look, which only solidified when I had kids and spent several years at home, with no reason or energy to look anything but functional. As I’ve got older I’ve found I avoid clothes that make me stand out from the crowd. I’m drawn to colours and patterns, yet when I try things on I get hung up with insecurities about my middle-aged shape, and the eternal question: “will people think I’m trying too hard?”

I didn’t become a writer to have my picture all over the place, yet here I am again! I’m wearing a bold pattern, white shoes and a wide-brimmed hat: items that my younger self would have delighted in!

Summer’s coming, and it’s going to be a good one. Time to relax a little, let go of your hangups, let loose and enjoy everything that life has to offer.

Note: our apologies, the photo with our May issue Arts Scene column was wrongly credited. The photo was provided by the Peninsula Players.

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